Thursday, August 26, 2010

"I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it."

Each summer, I try to become more culturally literate by blazing through as many classic pieces of literature that I can. Last summer, I read The Color Purple by Alice Walker. That is one that I'll never forget. It's difficult to stomach at times yes, but its message is hard-hitting and presented completely devoid of arrogance.

Here's what I learned from it:

You are you.
You cannot be anyone else, and nobody else can be you.
Everything in life can make you stronger...
...or it can kill you.
You choose.
You need to love,
and you need to love people.
Nobody else can love the way you can.
Some people need you.
You exist.
You're here.

I was reminded of this book and these lessons because of the recent events in Fantasia Barrino's life. If you haven't heard, she tried to take her own life a couple weeks ago. Fantasia played Celie in the stage adaptation of The Color Purple on Broadway and was so popular that she nearly doubled ticket sales and performed at several stops on the national tour. If her understudy went on, people would walk out and demand a refund. She had never seen a play before being in it. She received rave reviews.  My favorite line from any review of hers? "Whatever power is at work here, it's enough to confirm your belief in the divine."

She released her third album this week, the final track being the song "I'm Here" from The Color Purple, which I downloaded today. Even after living through Celie's story hundreds of times, Fantasia apparently forgot that she's "here." She forgot about the uplifting and inspring nature of her other-worldy talent. She forgot that she's a mother. Please, don't ever forget that you're here and here for a reason. You may not know that reason now, you may not ever know it. Regardless of what you believe, what you don't believe, or what you may or may not want to believe, you are human. And you ARE here.

"I may be poor, I may be black, I may be ugly, but I'm here."

"I'm thankful for each day that I'm given. Both the easy and hard ones I'm livin'."


  1. Great post Jon. Always appreciate your insight :)

  2. I LOVE this post. Thanks a ton Jon. :)